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Us 24, New Hampshire 16, Mr. Reid 14, America 13, Mr. Durbin 10, North Dakota 10, Massachusetts 8, West Virginia 8, Washington 7, Mrs. Boxer 5, Reid 5, Mr. Coburn 5, Madam 5, Virginia 5, United States Senate 4, Afghanistan 4, United States 4, Coburn 4, New York 4, California 3,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    April 23, 2013
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. schumer: i suggest the continuation of the quorum for a minute. the presiding officer: without objection. quorum call:
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mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: mr. leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, my friend here from oklahoma is on the floor. i would ask if he would be kind enough to -- i'm going to say a few words. i'm going to withhold offering the consent for senator schumer to take five minutes before i offer the consent agreement. what would that be appropriate for the senator from oklahoma? okay.
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madam president, the arbitrary spending cuts in the budget control act were designed to be painful, so painful both parties could come together to find a bipartisan way to reduce the deficit. thus far, it hasn't worked. we've reduced the debt by doing a number of different things, some $2.5 trillion worth. we've cooperated in that regard. the deep cuts required though by the sequester have failed to bring the republicans to the negotiating table to find more savings or more revenue. even after both the house and senate passed budget resolutions, the house republican leadership has refused to go to conference to work out our differences. republicans have been telling us for a long time that they wanted regular order. and we come to regular order, they don't want regular order. republicans are afraid to even be seen considering a compromise with democrats. and i speak more strongly that
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the republicans here in the senate are doing their objection here on going to conference more to protect the house because that applies so much more to the house republicans than it does the republicans over here. the republicans over there are afraid to be even seen considering a compromise with us. because republicans have refused to negotiate a compromise, sequestration kicked in with devastating effect. and we're just beginning to feel the impact of these deep, deep, deep cuts. nationwide, the sequester will cut 750,000 jobs this year alone. and more than -- more than 70,000 little boys and girls will be kicked off the head start program. programs that fund medical research, as i indicated on the floor yesterday with duke university but there are scores of other programs that are just the same, or programs to help the homeless veterans get off the streets are being decimated.
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meals on wheels, i talked about that at some length yesterday. meals on wheels is one of the programs that is so good. homebound seniors will get one meal a day and it's usually just during the week. these are being significantly hammered. little kids, i've talked about head start, but education programs are being hit really hard. and these are programs that deal with impoverished children. we know the sequester is causing massive delays. i am from las vegas. i'm from nevada. no place in america is more desperate to have the flights on time than tourist oriented las vegas. but it's the same in reno. these cuts are hurting tourism in las vegas and all around the country.
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but it's not only the furloughs at f.a.a., it's some of the programs that i've talked about and many more. we've seen the dire effects of these arbitrary budget cuts. and we have an obligation to stop them. that's why i'll soon ask i ask unanimous consent to take up and pass legislation that would block sequestration until the end of this fiscal year. until the first day of october. this would give us five months to sit down at the negotiating table and work out an agreement to reduce the deficit in a balanced way, a way that doesn't punish the american people and our economy in the meantime. legislation that i'm proposing is simple. and it deserves quick approval. -- no reason to go back even though i would agree to it, let's -- to the buffett rule, let's do some spending cuts, do some more cutting, we've tried that. it wouldn't work. let's try the flexibility.
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that also won't work because you're dealing with the same amount of money. so i would hope that this simple solution i'm suggesting will be supported by my republican friends. establishing binding caps on war spending. the wars are winding down for certain. right now there's $650 billion there. and as this bill proposes, the one i will ask consent on, it will close that loophole and produce more than enough savings to offset the cost of delaying sequestration for five months. let's put a stop to the furloughs and delays that put a stop to the job losses. let's put a stop to the devastating cuts to programs that keep our poor children from getting an equal shot in life, our senior citizens, our homeless veterans, and our most vulnerable among us from falling through the cracks. they may not be as transparent, as what's happening at our airports but these are devastating to human beings.
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so let's do it in a fiscally responsible way and do it now. then let's get to work finding a broad agreement to strengthen our economy and reduce our long-term deficits. so i would yield five minutes to my friend as indicated with a tentative agreement i asked earlier and then i will get the floor and ask the consent my friend from oklahoma will respond to that. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i rise in strong support of my -- of our democratic leader's proposal. we all know that sequestration was a blunt instrument, and now it's beginning to hurt. there are delay after delay after delay at airports throughout the nation. this is not only a question of traveler inconvenience. our economy in all likelihood will lose many, many more dollars in the next week or two than it costs to furlough the air traffic controllers. when business people can't
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travel, when tourists can't travel, i know my home city of new york is greatly affected. no one stays in the hotels. no one goes to the restaurants. no one goes to the shows. well, that can be repeated in destination after destination after destination throughout the country. but if people are so uncertain of air travel that when they show up at the airport they may wait an hour or they may wait five, they won't go. a good percentage of them will stop their trips. this doesn't make sense to go forward with this and i think we have agreement on that. the problem is, how do we fix it? and there aren't many ways to fix it. because if you simply say give flexibility the transportation department has very little flexibility because many of its funds are off-limits. the highway trust fund, for instance, isn't affected by sequestration because those are our nickels and dimes that go into the gas tax per gallon. that weren't affected by
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sequestration. the huge -- an extremely high and disproportionate number of air traffic control -- of transportation department's expenditures are air tra traffic -- air traffic controllers themselves. so we have this problem. but as leader reid-pound out -- pointed out, we have other problems. to stop cancer research, to cut back on n.i.h. and n.s.f. which hals been our seed corn? n.i.h. created a biotechnical, a biopharmaceutical industry that's second to none and employees -- employs millions of people in your state, madam president, and mine. and n.s.f. research basically created the internet. that has created millions of jobs and makes u.s. industry the envy of the world. so we're cutting our seed corn. the kinds of programs for veterans who are homeless, the kinds of programs for homebound seniors. the meat ax approach of
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sequestration cuts those across the board. now, my preference would be to close some tax loopholes to get rid of sequestration. i don't think we should give tax breaks to oil companies. i don't think we should give tax breaks to goes that send jobs overseas. that would be my preference but we know that our friends on the other side of the aisle are against any revenue increases right now. so to put that on the floor immediately would be an exercise in futility. the leader's plan is the right plan. it's ingenious. we have $600 billion on the budget that we know we won't spend the vast majority of because no one believes we're going to have troops in iraq or afghanistan five years from now. and yet that money is sitting there on our budget and preventing cancer research, air traffic controllers, money for homeless vets from being used where it was supposed to be.
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and so the proposal to take a certain amount of money out of the o. c.e.o., the overseas contingency operations which we know we won't spend, makes no sense. you say you know you won't spend it, it's a gimmick. it's not a gimmick. it's sitting there in the budget. taking up space that is -- that could be used by these other agencies and to insist that the o.c.o. continue is causing real pain. causing our economy not to grow as quickly, causing vulnerable people to be hurt, causing research, the seed corn of america, to decline. our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are saying, well, president obama is to blame for these delays. he had very little choice if we don't change things. and this is a way to change things. so if you want to get rid of these delays which we all very much want to on both sides of
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the aisle, i would propose to my colleagues the solution proposed by the majority leader is the best way to go given the political necessities on the other side, the desire not to have any revenues, even closing certain tax loopholes. and so i would hope we could come together and vote on this. i would hope that this solution, which, by the way, cutting the o.c.o. has been supported by republicans. i remember senator kyl, the former senator was arizona, was advocating this late last year to deal with the doc fix and the d.r.g.'s and other things. the people will come together on it. so i would hope we could vote for this proposal, put the air traffic controllers back to wo work, off their furloughs, get rid of these delays and then come together in a grand agreement in time for the september budget. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. leader? mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. 788. this legislation, the -- my friends on the other side have had this legislation for a short time. not a long time. but it's not that difficult to understand. i've tried to explain it the best i can. so i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. 788, the text of which is at the desk, which is a bill to suspend the fiscal year 2013 sequestration and offset that with funds from overseas contingency operations, that the bill be read three times, passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table and there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. coburn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: reserving the right to object and i plan to object. i plan on taking some time to explain why i object. what is happening in the senate is phenomenal. and i want the american people to see this. the federal government is 89%
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bigger than it was ten years ago. and we just heard the majority leader say flexibility can't work because you're already dealing with the same amount of money. 89% more than we were ten years ago. i didn't vote for the budget control act. i think sequester is a stupid way to cut spending. but i want us to understand exactly what's going on. this is a contribe contrived si, because no effort, zero effort by the f.a.a. or the department of transportation has been made to have any flexibility in terms of how they spend their money. they've made no requests for a reprogramming of funds within the f.a.a. they have over $500 million unobligated sitting in balances that aren't obligated. so none of this had to happen. this has been a created situation. i want you to think for a minute about the number of people who didn't make their aunt's funeral yesterday because of a contrived
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situation. the number of people who may not get to a birth of a grandchild. the number of business meetings that aren't going to occur because we've created a contrived situation. our problem is, is we're continuing to spend money that we don't have, and so we've taken f.a.a., we've put the airlines at risk. they're, by the way, suing government because they haven't made a good-faith effort to do it in another way. and we have created a situation where we're going to discomfort and inconvenience hundreds of thousands of american people on a political point because we can't cut any spending in washington. let -- let me outline for my colleagues just a moment what the f.a.a. could do. they could save $105 million just by cutting their overhead expenses for consultants, supplies and travel by 15%. that's one-seventh -- that's
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one-sixth of all the money they need to keep all their controllers going. they can save $41 million by eliminating funding that the president's already recommended eliminating. in terms of programs for airports that have -- on the national plan of integrated airports. they've already recommended doing that but they're not doing that. they have the flexibility to do that but they're not doing it. that's another $41 million. they can save $6 million on the small community air service. flexible. they could reduce the airport improvement program. they have plenty of flexibility there. that's up to $926 million. they could do that. they could reduce or eliminat eliminate -- and they would have to have our help to do this -- the essential air service program. many airports across this country we're paying $1,200 subsidy for people who are flying less than ten people out of an airport a day less than 90 miles away from a major airport. so to say that there's no
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flexibility -- they don't want any flexibility. and the fact is, is our country's headed towards bankruptcy. now, let me talk about o.c.o. for a minute. it's true o.c.o. money's in the budget because we thought we were going to have to spend it. but every penny of that money will be borrowed money. borrowed money. and so if we weren't going to spend it, now to say oh, we're going to go over here and take care of sequestration. a 4% cut in federal budget. 4%. it's only 89% bigger than it was ten years ago and we can find 4% within the f.a.a.? let me outline a few other things that are going on at the f.a.a. they have posted requirements for nonessential employees since the sequester started. they've made no efforts at flexibility. they've made no efforts to do what they could do to keep the most number of controllers flying, working.
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this isn't going to happen. we're not going to borrow money anymore against future of our -- against the future of our kids when, in fact, we have other ways to do it. and i'll make my final point. the president's the c.e.o. of this country. he can make this happen with the least amount of inconvenience for the american people. the question is: will he or not? will he or not? mr. coburn: will we play this political shell game with the lives and perhaps the safety and certainly the inconvenience of the traveling public in this country to make a point that there's no way you can cut any spending out of the federal government? when it's 89% -- and, by the way, it's 48% bigger under president obama. so it's a real choice. americanamerica's going to get l choice. can we, in fact, respond in a prudent way to run this
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government in an efficient manner and eliminate low-priority items and put money, like n.i.h., in a priority? we can. the question is, is do we have the will to do that? and what we're hearing from the majority leader is, no, we don't want to cut anything. we'll just take some funny money that doesn't really exist and if we use it, we're going to borrow it, and we'll just pay -- take all the pain away and there won't be any oversight, there won't be any streamlining, there won't be any priorities made in terms of how we spend money. every other american family and business has to make those decisions and we're refusing to do it. and when you ask the president, do you want the flexibility? he says no. he says, i'll veto your bill. if i'll give you the flexibility to put high priorities up here and low priorities down here. that tells me it's all politic political. doesn't have anything to do with the f.a.a. has to do with creating an event so that we won't do the best
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things in the best long-term interest of the country. so with that, i object, and i would ask for consent that the senate proceed to calendar number 19, s. 16, inhofe-toomey on flexibility with an amendment that reflect the current changes for sequestration, that the bill be read three times and passed, as amended, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection is heard to the primary request. is there objection to the follow-up request? mr. reid: yes. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: mr. leader. mr. reid: earlier this year, the senate voted on dueling responses to the sequestration. the democrats had a balanced plan, half revenues, half spending. republicans tried giving flexibility with, of course, no revenues whatsoever. the senate voted both of these down. we know these plans won't work
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so there is absolutely no need to repeat what has already failed. let's try to solve the problem. now, madam president, i appreciate my friend from oklahoma's mini lecture here but it's wrong.t, it's good to go back and talk about what's happened. off office -- and i know we keep bringing that up, his library's going to be dedicated in a few days -- he had a surplus over ten years of $7 trillion. when he left office, he had a debt of almost $2 trillion. y? was it because government got bigger? well, it got bigger because we had two wars paid for with the $7 trillion should have been surplus -- it was all borrowed money. all borrowed money. we -- the clinton years, when bush stepped into office, clinton had created 22 million
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jobs in eight years. during bush eight 8 million jobs and lost our entire surplus. so of course those two wars and all the taxes that were -- tax cuts that were unpaid for really created some problems. now, madam president, the senator from oklahoma complains about government is larger than it was two years ago. well, i've talked about that. but, madam president, one thing my friend fails tonowledge is simpson-bowles -- by the way, he voted against that. is that right? you were with senator durbin, you voted for it? mr. coburn: i voted for it. mr. reid: i appreciate that. most of the republicans voted against it. my liberal friend, dick durbin, voted for that. but, madam president, the reason i mention that, simpson-bowles, we've -- they wanted to arrive at savings of $4 trillion, as i understand it. we've already done
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$2.5 trillion. it's not as if we haven't done anything. and i would also talk about my friend from oklahoma. i know that he's smart. and he -- i understand that. but, madam prent smart doesn't mean you're always right madam president, we have a situation where this country has been driven by the tea party for the last number of years. when i was in school, i studied government and i learned about the anarchists. now, they were different than the tea party because they wer were -- they were violent. but they were anarchists because they did not believe in government at any level and they acknowledged it. the tea party kind of hides th that. they don't say "we're against government" that's what it all amounts to. they're not -- they're not doing physically destructive things to buildings and people.
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but they -- direct. but they are doing everything they can to throw a monkey wrench into any form of government, whether it's local, whether it's -- whether it's state or federal government. that's what it's all about. and so anything they can doo throw a monkey wrench in the wheels of government, they're happy doing that. to say, my friend from oklahoma is helping them. maybe not directly but indirectly. and that's wrong. government is not inherently b bad. government is inherently good. that's why we have a constitution. and that's what we direct the activities of this government based upon. so, madam president, we have a situation here that is really not good. we have programs being cut all over america. rather than doing, as my friend from -- my friend from new york said with some kinds of a meat cleaver, we should be doing -- some kind of a meat cleaver, we should be doing it with a scalpel, doing things that are fine-tuning and working to
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eliminate these programs. now, i -- my friend -- i knew i had some notes. my friend talks about, why doesn't the f.a.a. cut other programs? listen to this. he wants to cut airport improvement programs. these are jobs creating. they create jobs at airports. runways, terminals, doing things that create jobs. essential air service -- may not mean much to him. we had a program where -- i don't know if it was my friendsd from oklahoma, some republican senator offered an amendment tote gid otoget rid of essentiar service. one place they recommended to be cut is eli, never. i said okay. too much per passenger, i'll go along with that. i could have stopped that. i didn't do that. so we have had this debate previously. essential air service has been whacked on a number of occasions. there are places in america
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where essential air service is just what it says, it's essential. to give those rural communities the ability to have an airplane come in there once in awhile. the congressional budget office, and they would give us credit, it wouldn't go -- it wouldn't be toward the deficit -- to do something for five months, take a little bit of money out of that overseas contingency fund. we're going to cut money from that. we are not going to spend all that money that has been set aside to take care of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. so, madam president, it is too bad we're right here with competing unanimous consent requests and the american people are going to continue to suffer, whether it's some little kid that's not going to be able to go to a head start program, whether it's some senior citizen that's going to miss his meals on wheels or the other program, in addition to the devastation that's going to take place to our airports. mrs. boxer: would my friend yield for a question? mr. reid: sure. mrs. boxer: thank you. senator, i really appreciate
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your taking the leadership here. and as understand it, and i want you to confirm it, what you've done is you've suggested that the cuts that are hurting so many of our american citizens be restored and you're paying for that? you're not putting it on the credit card, you're paying for it by taking funds from the overseas account because we're winding down the wars. am i correct that what you're doing is paying a price that equals the amount that you're restoring of the sequester; is that correct? mr. reid: that is true. mrs. boxer: okay. and i also wanted to say to my friend, and ir i know others wat to speak so i won't be long here but i will stay around and hopefully have a chance to expound on this, but from what i understand, we are -- we are really suffering in this count country. i mean, i have examples of -- of people who were turned away from cancer clinics, they can't get their chemotherapy. and the cancer society, which is in the a government entity, has said
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this is very dangerous. is my friend aware that patients are being turned away and not getting the chemotherapy, granted are not being funded. i know he mentioned that but i think the fact that patient who need chemotherapy to live, some are being denied this, is my friend away of that? mr. reid: in addition to that i say to my friend from california, there are research programs dealing with dread diseases in addition to cancer that research is being curtailed. mrs. boxer: and i would also say, i wondered if my friend knew -- and i take just a city from the midwest. in cincinnati 200 children will be dropped or denied access to head start. and anita wolf, a mother of two special-needs children said she may have to decide which child can remain in the program. i say we're here because this is hurting people. this isn't about statistics. and i'm just very disappointed that we can't work together and restore this -- at least -- how
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long does my friend restore these cuts, the next five months? mr. reid: five months. mrs. boxer: and so i just wanted to thank you for he will i do noting for meese questions, and i will listen to my colleagues on the other side and respond in due course. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: the reason that patients can't get chemo therapeutic drugs has everything to do with the administration of c.m.s. and the payment recognitions. i have been working on this for three months. has nothing to do with sequester. has to do with c.m.s. hags ruled in terms of appropriate payments. the majority leader is a wonderful man. he has a different view of what it takes to get our country back in shape. he's actually split with the president this afternoon because the president said the only way that he would in fact turn off sequester is with a tax increase. and the only way that this could
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be considered a tax increase is spending montana that we weren't ever going to spend anyway is acknowledging that we're going to charge it to our children. so in essence it'll be a tax increase. it's just not on us. it'll be on every child. the same child that he makes -- it doesn't have to be this ways and means the president could agree for flexibility. his secretaries could ask for reprogramming authority. but they've not done that. why have they not done that? because in the president's own words, he wants sequester to hurt. what a position for the c.e.o. of this country, for the leader of this country to say, i'm going to teach you a lesson. i'm not going to use judgment and priority and categorize things that are most important and find things that are least important. i'll going to reject all attempts at flexibility.
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i want to make one other point. the president keeps saying they've saved $2.5 trillion. the majority leader just said the same thing. what the american people rot to know is $is.2 trillion of that "savings" is increases that were planned that aren't going to happen. let me say that again. $1.2 trillion of the "savings" were spending increases that were planned that aren't going to happen. well, everybody that runs a family budget or runs a business knows, that's no savings. you didn't save any money that you were going to spend and then didn't spend. it wasn't save because you never spent t but it's the wonder it will way that washington accounts. it's different than the way all of the rest of us live our lives. so let's go back and review. we as republicans agree we ought
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to fund the most important things of o our government. and we believe there ought to be priorities to that. but we also believe we ought to save a future for ow children. and the answer we found ourselves in, sequestration, the answer to that problem is to give the administration the flexibility of making priority choices, just like the rest of us do, and if they don't quantso use it, then they won't use it. but the fact is, we won't pass that. the same tools that we all use ourselves, we won't pass that. now, why is it we won't pass that? to order things in priority, to do what's most important first. i would tell you, the conferences that the f.a.a. spends and the amount of travel that the people within the f.a.a. spend are a low priority compared to keeping controllers working. we haven't seen any cut in those
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programs, none. as a matter of fact, the president's budget recommended taking $800 million out of the airport improvement program, if you will read his budget. that was th the president's recommendation. sow so now we're really at odds with the president because he says wreck save that $800 million. it's flabbergasting to think that there's absolutely no common sense in washington and that we won't do the things that are in the best long-term interest of the people of this country. and so what we do is we create a situation that's going to tremendously impact our nation, both the business and the common citizen who is traveling, and we do it for political gain to prove a point, not because we have to but because we're going to make sequester hurt.
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we can have the security that american people want, to know that the future is okay. the future isn't okay with us operating in the way we're operating. and i know government isn't easy, and i know it's messy. but there are some absolute truths, and the absolute truth is, you can't spend your way out of debt, and you can't borrow your way out of debt, and we're taking $88 billion over the next year out of the budget, out of a $3.7 trillion budget. if we're not capable of doing that none of us should be here. either party. what we've failed to recognize is what the real risk is for our country. and the risk is we're running out of time and the ability to continue to borrow in the world. the only reason we look good today is because everybody else looks worse. we're the only rose in the bud
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vase that's not wilted right now. and that's going to change, and when it does, the consequences for our kids, for our families, for our economy, for our g.d.p. is going to totally change. because if we went back to historical interest rates today when we quit printing money, which we will eventually have to, it will add another $650 billion a year to our expenses. it does nothing for anybody. so this small 4.5% that the administration refuses to even work on to make it less painful to the american public shows are what kind of trouble we're in. madam president, i'm disappointed, as is, i know, the majority leader, that we can't work out a way to solve this. but there are two totally competing philosophies. one enssure ensures a productiv, successful america.
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the other shows an america drowning in ebbet did. and there has to be a point this time when we say, can't we run this government more efficiently, more effectively, and do it in a way that preserves the future for our children? with that, i yield the floor. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: mr. leader. mr. reid: there are a number of people on the floor that have been here sometime. and i thought i would try to add a little order to this. i don't know -- i think senator manchin got here first, so what i'd like to do -- well -- how much time does the senator from west virginia wish to take? and how much time do you need? mr. sessions: i think ten minutes would be sufficient. mr. reid: okay, senator boxer 15, i understand. so -- h mr. sessions: if i were allowed to go first, i would do five minutes. mr. reid: you got a deal. so i ask unanimous consent that the senator from alabama be
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given five minutes, the senator from california be recognized for 10 minutes, and the senator from west virginia for whatever time that you need. mr. sessions: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from many about a bam. mr. sessions: the proposal of my friend, the majority leader, and i know he has a tough job, is how a nation goes broke. how a nation loses confidence of the people we serve. august 2011 this nation agreed to the budget control act. my friend, senator reid, said the budget control act was as good as a budget. it is not. but it has some teeth to it. and what it did and is indisputable, it limited the growth in spending. we said we would raise the debt ceiling $2.1 trillion, but we would promise immediately -- which has almost already been spent, we've run up that many
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debt since august 2011, another $2 trillion -- but in addition we would reduce spending by $2.1 trillion. the sequester involved $1.1 trillion of that, if the committee didn't reach an agreement it would have specified cuts across the board. they're not wise cuts, h. we shouldn't have done it that way. but it was a reasonable amount of money for sure. so in the budget that was passed or the budget control act that was passed, spending would have gone up from a flat $37 trillion over ten years $45 trillion over ten years instead of going up to $47 trillion over ten years. so the growth would be from $37 trillion to $45 trillion and not $37 trillion to $47 trillion. now, that's not a real cut in spend pg. it is a reduction in the growth in spending. now, the sequester comes along and we've proposed many
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solutions where we could alter these cuts, give flexibility to the cuts so they don't be as sharp and as unwise as the sequester called for. and as long as the spending stays within that level. and we also agreed that the president -- and the president signed it and it was passed by both houses, democrats and republicans,ed leade, the leaded for it, it had no tax increases. it was an agreement that would reduce send spending a little bit over ten years and we would raise the debt ceiling by an equal amount. there was no tax increases in there. and so the president submits a budget. he wants to do away with the sequester and pay for it with tax increases, and that's what the democratic senate budget did also. it has increases in taxes and increases in spending, and a
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chunk of that was wiping owl the sequester that we just agreed to. we told the american people, look, we made a little reduction in the growth of spending, american people. forgive us for raising the debt ceiling. a lot of people didn't want to raise the debt ceiling at all. but we promised we had done something good. we were proud of ourselves. bubefore the ink was dry, the president in january submitted his budget on 2012 that wiped out those cuts. and spent more money. the and his budget this year does the same thing. the and the senate democratic budget did the same thing i mean, how can we possibly ever get spending under control if we don't comply with what we promised? so the majority leader has said, well, the war is coming down. the war confidents ar costs aren the future and we'll just score that as savings, and therefore
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we don't have to raise taxes. we'll just spend the money. we won't have the sequester take effect. we'll just spend all that money and we'll pretend we saved it by not fighting a war ten years from now. can you understand this? let me tell you what experts have said about this gimmick. maya mcbeginnin mcginn nighs, ae committee for a responsible budget, they have worked hard in a bipartisan way, said this. "this is such a glaring gimmick at such a serious moment. such a glaring gimmick at sufficient a serious moment." robert bigsby out of new hampshire, that's a longtime respected bipartisan group, they said this, "the mother of all budget gimmicks. to pretend that we're saving money because we're not spending emergency money on a war that
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ends. we could still be saving money on world war i at that rate. "washington post" reporter lauri montgomery said counting money not spent on wars that the nation is already planning to end is widely viewed as a budget gimmick. and it certainly is. the presiding the senator has used five minutes. mr. sessions: i would ask for one additional moment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: basically our colleagues are saying we can't even reduce spending growth even that much. we can't stand any of that. we refuse to lay out alternatives to make the cuts less painful. we want them to be as painful as possible so we can attack those who propose even modest reductions in the growth of spending. we're going to punish the american people because they dared to reduce the growth of spending. they are basically saying, the government is saying it's not
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our fault we've got a problem. it's yours, american people. you didn't send enough money. you send more money. you send more money. we refuse to reduce the growth of spending. i thank the chair and would yield the floor and thank senator coburn for objecting to the proposal of the majority -- mrs. boxer: madam president, i work with my colleague from alabama on a lot of issues, but on this particular issue we see the world a by the differently which is to be respected. and it is with full respect that i say this sequester isn't necessary. it was put into place, these across-the-board cuts, it was put into place to be so difficult and so painful that both parties would come together, madam president, and come up with a solution. the president has tried and
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tried and tried. he said to both parties, why don't we meet in the middle. let's replace the sequester, these mindless cuts, with other cuts that make sense and aren't painful. and the other half with tax reform, doing away with subsidies, tax loopholes such as the billions of dollars a year that oil companies have been getting that just doesn't make sense since they are the most profitable companies probably in the world. but republicans' answer to that? we're not going to look at taking away these tax breaks from big companies. we're going to not look at trying to see whether millionaires and billionaires can pay any more. we want to replace the sequester with more cuts. madam president, i know that it's a fast-moving country we
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live in, and lord knows, you've gone through some difficult time in massachusetts. and i want to thank you for your leadership. but we don't have that short a memory. we remember this awful recession that almost turned into a depression, and we know because it's basic -- i'm an economics major a long time ago, but there was an basic understanding that when times are tough the government doesn't turn to austerity. the government helps us by saying you know what, maybe this is a good time to fix those bridges, to build those highways, to do the things we need to do because a great country needs an infrastructure. and this is the time to do it because we need the jobs too. well, we have no partners over there. now senator reid comes up with a
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very sensible plan, and here's the plan: for the next five months we restore the sequester. we take away those mindless cuts, get us back to normalcy, try to find another solution, a long-term solution. but in the meantime, pay for stopping the sequester by cutting from an overseas war funding account as we bring home our soldiers from afghanistan and iraq, we have an account that can be drawn down. so when our colleagues say that senator reid is raising taxes to do this, he's not raising tax one. he is cutting spending by taking savings out of this overseas war account. makes a lot of sense. the american people want to see the afghanistan war come to an end. the american people want to see the iraq war totally be
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completed. so we're saying take that money and how about spending it here. now their answer today, which is so astounding from senator coburn, who objected to this very important bill, senator coburn said he has the answer. it's called flexibility. what does that mean? it means that all of these cuts, these billions and billions and billions dollars of cuts, we will then tell the agency, figure it out. you figure out where to fix it. for example, in the f.a.a., they have an airport improvement fund. they're saying, well, we don't have to fire these air traffic controllers. let's not do that. take the money from the airport improvement fund. madam president, you know anything about the airport improvement fund, it is not an idle fund. it is a fund that is paid for by
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taxes that people pay so that their airports will be improved. hence, it's called the airport improvement fund. so whether it's making sure the runways are safe or making sure that the terminals are clean, this is why we have airport improvement funds. you can't rob peter to pay paul. i want to say to my friend -- he left the floor, and he is my friend, senator coburn, flexibility is not the answer. if somebody comes to me and says, colleague, senator boxer, i left my wallet home and i'm starving. can you lend me ten bucks? and i say flexibility. what flexibility? he left his wallet home. flexibility does not pay for air traffic controllers. flexibility does not pay for
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teachers. flexibility does not pay for f.b.i. agents. and if we ever learn anything from the horror in boston, it's the unbelievable first responders in addition to the citizens who rushed towards the blast. the people there, the professionals, the doctors who happened to be there, we pay those people. you know, earth to the senate, not everybody lives off a trust fund. people need to get paid. and flexibility doesn't do it. i can't tell people if i get a call from an air traffic controller, why don't you just volunteer on your day off. he'll probably tell me he's going to figure out a way on his day off that he's forced to have -- his furlough -- try to figure out a way to make some money for his family. sometimes i wonder if we're in
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alice in wonderland around here, and nothing could be more true than today. now i want you to know that i have people in los angeles who were stuck on runways for hours and missed very important functions. how about one of my people in los angeles -- i have his name, it's not important -- said that he missed a funeral in boston on monday because his incoming flight was delayed. and here's the quote -- "we had to cancel our whole trip because the funeral is tonight and we're not going to make it." flexibility isn't the answer. the answer is restore the money from sequestration. the f.a.a. announced plans to close 149 airport control towers nationwide, including many in my state. and how about people that are getting turned away who need
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chemotherapy? and the american cancer society action network said because of sequestration -- quote -- "funding for cancer research and prevention programs is taking a dangerous hit." unquote. again i say to my republican friends, this is from the private sector commenting on what's happening around here. the national breast and cervical cancer early detection program will provide 32,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings. these are lifesaving screenings. you want to tell that woman, flexibility? that's not the answer. the answer is restore the funds from the sequester. head start about to lose 70,000 of its one million slots for children. let me tell you, in cincinnati, 200 children will be dropped or denied access to head start. and anita wolf, a mother of two special-needs children, said she may have to choose which child
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can remain in head start's enrichment program. i tell you, this is a bad situation. in oakland, the housing authority is losing 11 million, and 900 fewer families will get housing. i would ask unanimous consent to put the rest of my comments into the record at this time. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: we are seeing delays at our ports. we're seeing -- we are seeing dock workers idled, and these delays from one of my people, they say, he says, "i have to hire the labor and pay them while i wait for customs to clear the vessel. it's having an impact on our economy." so just to finish up, senator reid took the leadership today. i'm so proud to stand with him. he found a place to get the money to put the funds back in and avert the sequester. stop the pain at the airports. stop the pain at the clinics.
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restore meals on wheels to our seniors. all the things i talked about. and he paid for it by going to the war fund that is winding down and making sure that we can fix this problem for five months. it is shocking that my republican friends would object to this when their constituency is feeling the same pain as the rest of us. i thank you, and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: madam president, i ask permission to speak up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. manchin: madam president, i rise today to speak in support of the marketplace fairness act. i was a cosponsor of this important legislation in the 112th congress, and i'm proud to be a cosponsor in the 113th congress because this is truly a matter of fairness. the marketplace fairness act will allow local and main
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street -- we call them brick and mortar, but they're basically businesses, little stores with real newseum -- with real people in them working hard to make a living. it will provide financial relief to state budgets that have been cut in recent years and are facing more cuts in federal assistance thanks to what we're just discussing here, the sequestration. this bill isn't a washington handout to businesses. it isn't a special treatment. it isn't a new tax. it is leveling the playing field. that's all it's doing. leveling the playing field. every day we don't act to level the playing field is another day we risk another small business closing its doors not only in west virginia but all across this country. there's always a lot of talk in washington about helping small businesses, and rightly so. because small businesses, as you know in your state, mr. president, small businesses
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account for more than 60% of all the private-sector jobs. small businesses, not the large businesses. and the marketplace fairness act is a chance to do more than just talk about it for once. we have a chance to do something to really show that we care about small businesses. it levels the playing field and gives our main street businesses a fighting chance in competing with internet vendors that are not required to collect sales tax. let me give you an example in a small rural state such as west virginia. we're expanding working very hard on the internet, broadband, high speed, trying to get every nook and cranny up. we're trying to help the people. that's great. but what it will do, it really puts more pressure on the small businesses because now with the convenience, people won't travel. they might not go to the store. but if they want that service, and they know the prices are the same, there's not unfair advantage or a level playing field, the small businesses still have a chance. that's all we're asking for.
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business owners in west virginia tell me all the time how unfair it is to watch their online competitors offer lower prices on the exact same products. we've heard a lot of talk about that today. that's called showrooming. that is basically people shopping. in the old days they would go to one store and they would compare. then they would go to another store and compare. then they would work back and forth and figure out where they had their best deal or where they felt they had the best deal with the best service. that doesn't happen online. first of all, in my state they have a 6% advantage because our sales tax is 6% in all of our counties. that's a 6% advantage from the get-go. and in these hard economic times, a price is the driving force. that's why this bill has so much bipartisan support. 74 votes, mr. president. you've been here a short period of time but you're very observant, i know that. and you've watched very few
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times that we've got that type of broad bipartisan support on anything. and that's what's refreshing to see. and with awful -- and with all my friends that come from states that don't have taxes and friends from both sides -- colleagues on the democrat side and republican side -- what i understand and what i know will happen is, first of all, they don't collect the tax of in-state residents if they buy on the internet. they won't collect that tax because they don't have a sales tax. now, if they say it's unfair because they're collecting it for me in my state even though someone from west virginia might buy from a state that doesn't have a sales tax but they have an internet business, that's not going to put undue pressure, i believe, or unfair competition in any way, shape or form. they still need to use all the services in my state to sell their product in the state that they don't have a sales tax. they're going to use the roads to deliver that product to my customer in my state.
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they're going to use the people that have been educated through the school system in my state, and all i'm asking for is the fair share, the fairness that we charge our own customers and our own businesses collect for us in our state for those that are using my state as their business to do the same. i don't think that's unfair. i really don't. and i think a majority of businesses don't think that's unfair and a majority of americans don't think that's unfair. it's not a complicated piece of legislation. it is only 11 pages. that's pretty short compared to most of the bills we see around here. and basically, it just does what we said. it allows the states to collect sales tax and out-of-state sales provide these streamlined tax codes. there are some restrictions that come with this. they must either voluntarily adopt the measures in the streamlined sales and use tax law, which 24 states have already done, including my little state of west virginia.
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do you know that we were the number three state in the nation to join in this fairness movement many years ago, and when i was governor, we worked very hard to work with the other states and we built up to 24 states that basically were acceptable towards a tax code fairness, and that's really what it was about. or a state can meet five mandates. there is five mandates they can meet. they can notify retailers of rate changes. they can create a single organization for collecting sales tax. they can establish a uniform tax base, or they can use destination sourcing for sales tax rates and provide free software and hold harmless protection for retailers to simplify what that means. some states might have different tax codes in different counties. some counties have different taxes that they add on to their sales tax or they have a municipal tax. and they're saying that will be 9,600 different tax codes, it's almost impossible.
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for anyone to participate in this piece of legislation, they have got to make a decision on one of those five, five criteria i just mentioned. that brings the tax code down to 46. it simplifies it. so that argument doesn't hold either, the complication of 96, and i know it's been used with our good friend from new hampshire. the beauty of a state without a sales tax that doesn't want to participate, they don't have to. that's the beauty of it. they don't have to. they don't have to participate. they don't have to collect the sales tax from their people, as i said earlier. so they had that option. i know the arguments against the legislation, but again i would say they are just wrong. some critics say this is a tax increase. that's wrong. if i'm paying 6% in west virginia, would i go to a store in fairmont, charleston,
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huntington, martinsburg, greenbrier, lewisburg, wherever go, it's the same 6%. the only thing we're saying is if you buy on the internet, you will be charged the same 6%. it's not an increase. it's the same. and i think that makes it pretty simple also, and it really does give our little stores with the people that basically are the same people that we go to to participate, give donations and contributions to the little league. how many times do you see an internet company giving to the little league in your hometown, contributing to the chamber of commerce in your hometown, giving to any of the different fund drives you might have, volunteer fire department. and what we're saying is we have got to do everything we can to keep them alive and healthy. some critics say online services don't use the local services that are paid for by the sales taxes so they shouldn't be required to pay the sales taxes. that's wrong also because i think we just talked about that. they also say whatever product
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you order online, let's say it's a book from amazon or shoes from macy's or towels from target. it was delivered, it still has to get to you. it has to use the infrastructure that your state's responsible for to invest into, and that's our sales tax. sales tax in all states that collect sales tax go into the general revenue. general revenue supports a cadre of things, everything you can imagine from your schools to your roads to the programs that people are needing to your senior citizens. it supports every aspect of life in your state. our little state when you look at the whole overall, the fact that the little stores and online retailers sell identical products and use the same infrastructure to deliver those products and collecting taxes that are owed on the purchase at a point of sale rather than relying on consumers to pay that tax voluntarily, as some critics have proposed, would mean
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$23 billion, $23 billion that is going uncollected. now, that's just the fairness that we're adding to it, just the fairness. 23 billioned for needed -- $23 billion for needed revenue in states. you have heard people give testimony today that if their little state gets the amount of money, they could reduce their taxes. well, that's a -- that's a good opportunity today in these difficult times. if west virginia could have collected a sales tax on out-of-state sales during the fiscal year only of 2012, not new taxes, just those already owed to the state if you took the sales that was done over the internet, we would have put $103 million more in our state's budget. $103 million more. our budget's around $4 billion. that's a good chunk of money, and we could have used it to do a couple of things. let me give you an example of what we could have done.
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with that extra money from internet sales, we could have built 412 miles of new roads. 412 miles. we could have hired 2,000 schoolteachers with that money we didn't receive. we could have built five high schools. we could have built seven middle schools or ten new elementary schools. now, you talk about jobs, you talk about infrastructure, you talk about basically investing back in your state, that's money that we weren't able to do that with, and that would have helped us. now, when you talk about the ecommerce growth, if you look at the growth of businesses being done online versus businesses being done in retail stores, you will see quite a disparity, and it's going to continue to grow, continue to grow and put more pressure. we think that this is not going to intervene with the internet sales, and the reason we say that is because of our busy lifestyles. if that's the way you want to
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shop, fine, but you just won't be able to say well, i can save money because i don't have to pay the sales tax. it might make you think about i'm going to go down and buy at john's hardware store. i know john and mary, they do a heck of a job. i will see them. the price is the same. i like the local service. i know the money will stay in my local community. they have a fighting chance now. trust me, we won't put any internet businesses out of business. that won't happen. in 2000, the u.s. economy supported $27 billion in ecommerce which constituted 9/10 of all retail sales. over the next 12 years, ecommerce grew tenfold, totaling $224 billion in ten years, tenfold, which is equal to 7% of all retail sales. 7% of all retail sales. ten years ago, it wasn't even 1%. now it's up to 7%. one market analysis projects that online retail sales in the united states will grow by 10% annually through 2017. 10% annually.
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so when you look at that from $224 billion in 2012, that will be over $370 billion in the next four years. in the next four years. and i was just telling you in 2012 about our little state laws and what we could have done with it. think of all the missed opportunities we're going to have, not just in my state but in states all over the nation. so just look at how the internet use has soared in the united states since 2000. some 240 million americans are online today. we have about 330 million inhabitants of this great country, the united states. 240 of them are online today compared to half that amount when the century began. so less than a little over ten years ago, we only had about 120 million. we're going to have full integration of our internet, which is good. i think it's good. i just want to make sure it's fair. that's all. just fair. as broadband speeds grow, home
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and mobile internet users will spend more time online and that means more time online shopping. that's fine, too. they just won't be able to say you know what? i'm going to save 6%. they can't say that up front. that means they're going to shop a little bit more and that means we have a chance. if i have a little store in farmington, west virginia, where i came from, i have a chance to survive now. it gives me a chance. i don't start out in the hole. i don't start out with my hands in my pocket and i'm 6% behind to begin with. google researchers have found already 97% of americans look for local products online, so clearly the businesses back home are at a huge disadvantage in competing with online retailers if tax requirements are unequal. this makes sense, state governments are losing billions of dollars in uncollected sales tax that could build the infrastructure that we all need. mr. president, i have heard from so many businesses back home in west virginia, and i can tell you there is overwhelming support for this legislation,
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and there has been from day one since we became one of the first states to enter in to this streamline compact. that was in 2003, started out with three of us. up to 24 states now and we have a pathway for all the states to have equalization. i own a small business that encourages people to support local west virginia artists. this is what this lady says. she has wrote me from a small business owner. her name is parween meskari in west virginia. she says i own a small business that encourages people to support local west virginia artists. because we sell from a physical storefront, we must collect and remit sales tax from our customers. online merchants do not currently have to collect or remit a comparable tax on sales they make online. that is not only fundamentally unfair but seriously impairs our ability to be competitive in the market when we have to charge our customers a tax that they don't have to pay when they shop online. mr. president, i want to commend
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senators durbin and senator enzi and all of the senators, my senior senator rockefeller for taking leadership on this important issue and for introducing the marketplace fairness act. i'm a proud cosponsor of that because i believe it is fair and it's good for america. i believe this legislation restores fairness and balance to our tax system. it strengthens our businesses. it revitalizes our downtowns. it creates jobs, helps states struggling to provide the services that our citizens expect. the measure has broad support in both parties as you have seen by the votes that we have already taken. it's backed not only by mom and pop stores in main street america and merchants and also by giant online retailers like amazon, and i urge the senate to act without any further delay. i thank you, mr. president, and again i say to all of my colleagues this is a matter of fairness, it's a matter of one that i think really restores the fairness in american retail. thank you. i yield.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you. my friend from west virginia says this bill is important for his state, and i understand that, but this is a bill that doesn't work for my state of new hampshire. and his suggestion that if states don't like it, they have the option not to participate just doesn't work because the businesses in my state of new hampshire are going to be affected. this is a proposal that fundamentally violates states' sovereignty. it enables one state to impose the enforcement of its laws on the 49 other states and territories without their approval, and this legislation would impose new burdens on small businesses not only in new hampshire but actually across the country. i represent a state that does not have a sales tax. there are still some states left in this country that don't have
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sales taxes, so you can understand why i oppose this measure, because this legislation will hurt small online family-owned businesses in new hampshire, businesses who have no experience collecting sales taxes whatsoever. now, the proponents of this legislation have said that small businesses won't be affected, thanks to the exemption for businesses with less than a million dollars in revenue. well, that's just not true. this legislation creates a disincentive for internet firms to grow and create jobs for american workers. we know that the margins for so many small online retailers are very slim, and i'll give you an example. i have heard from a small business owner in hudson, new hampshire. hudson is down along the border of massachusetts. i know you know it well. his business is approaching a million dollars in revenues, and he has about six employees. just six employees.
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now, under the internet sales tax legislation before us, this company would be considered a large business, revenues over a million dollars because they are almost there, but if this legislation passes, the company's plans to grow are really in doubt. they're going to be forced to reconsider whether or not they're going to continue to grow, continue to hire more employees because this arbitrary threshold creates a real disincentive for them to grow. now, i commerce has been a real boon to small businesses in new hampshire and across the country. it's helped countries find new markets, helped them add new revenues for for companies looking to grow through online sales, this legislation represents a real ceiling for growth. that's why i've joined with a number of my colleagues to call on the senate to rethink this legislation. we need to think through its unintended consequences.
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small businesses across the country, not just in nonsales tax states like new hampshire but small businesses across the country will see their tax burdens increase. and i want to give just a few examples of the new burdens that are going to come with this legislation. first, as i mentioned, each state has different sales and use taxes, so businesses would need new software to figure out how to collect and remit the right taxes, and it's my understanding that the states under this legislation would be responsible for providing that software to the businesses in their states. now, i think this creates an unfunded mandate for the state of new hampshire to have to provide that software for the small businesses in the state who would be affected. small businesses would also need to collect personal information from each buyer to make sure they're complying with all state
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and local sales taxes, and these small businesses would also have to deal with audit and enforcement actions from out of state. in other words, they would have to answer to taxing authorities in places where they have no representation whatsoever. and as states and localities consider new taxes, these small businesses would have no voice in that process because they have no representation in those jurisdictions. so these are just a few examples of the many unintended consequences that this legislation would create. i intend to join with a number of my colleagues in filing amendments to improve this bill, including ways that we can protect states' rights and small businesses. if the state of new hampshire doesn't want to participate because we have no sales tax and we don't think our businesses should be forced to collect massachusetts' sales taxes or maine's sales taxes or vermont's sales taxes on line, it seems
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to me we ought to be able to opt out of this legislation. the citizens and small businesses in new hampshire who will be affected by this legislation deserve a full hearing on these issues, and i urge my colleagues to join us in addressing these defects before we pass this bill. thank you very much, mr. president.
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mrs. shaheen: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. i ask unanimous consent that on wednesday, april 24, at 10:30 a.m., the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 60 and number
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64. that there be 90 minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form, the time from 10:30 until 11:00 a.m. on calendar number 60 and the time from 11:00 until noon on calendar number 64, that upon the use or yielding back of time, the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed, with two minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form between the votes, that the second vote be ten minutes in length, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to the nominations, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that if the senate receives h.r. 475 from the house of representatives and the bill is identical to the text of -- which is at the desk, then the bill be read three times and the senate proceed to a vote at a time to be determined by the majority
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leader in consultation with the minority leader with noint intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: -- with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration en bloc of the following resolutions which were submitted earlier today -- senate resolution 105, 106, 107 and 108. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measures en bloc? without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i understand that s. 788ntroduced earlier today by senator reid is at the desk. i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 788, a bill to suspend the fiscal year 2013 sequester and established limits on war-related spending. mr. durbin: i now ask for its second reading and object to my own request.
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the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be read for the second time on the next legislative day. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the appointments at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on wednesday, april 24, 2013, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. and that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 10:30 a.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half. further, that following morning business, the senate proceed to executive session under the previous order and that when the senate resumes legislative session, the senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to calendar number 41, s. 743, the marketplace fairness act, and immediately proceed to
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vote on adoption of the motion. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, there will be two roll call votes at noon tomorrow on confirmation of the kelly and burwell nominations. additional votes in relation to the marketplace fairness act are possible on wednesday. we have urged all senators with amendments to bring them forward to the floor in an expedited fashion so we can consider them in a timely way. and if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until >> the senate continued work on a gym allowing states to collect sales taxes from online retailers located outside their borders. currently, sales taxes do cannot have to be paid if the online retailer does not have a physical presence within the buyer state. the legislation would require online retailers to collect sales taxes on all purchases, and send the revenue to the
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appropriate states. as currently written, the legislation exempts businesses that make less than a million dollars in out of state revenue. more from the senate when members return here on c-span2. >> technology reporter joins us from capitol hill. what's the purpose of the senate interpret sales tax bill? >> well, this legislation would allow states to require that online retailers charge sales
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tax collect, and remit them when consumers make a purchase op line. that includes retailers not within their own state. >> what are some of the bill supporters, and why did some say it levels the player field for retailers? >> well, the bill supports, incoming the big retailers, walmart, best buy, amazon.com, online retailers also, say brick and mortar retailers are at a disadvantage charging sales tax and online doesn't. consumers are supposed to pay the taxes on their tax return, but studies show that most don't so in effect online goods get that 6% to 10% on average discount on goods. >> what about the opponents of the bill, who do we hear from and what are the arguments against the bill? >> the strongest opposition is from those states where they
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don't charge a sales tax because they contend retailers would have to have a burden to call late tax to various localities and states and add it because states are set up not to charge tax like montana, oregon, new hampshire, and they will use up all the time, and offer revenue amendments, doing everything they can to set the bill back, it by passed the finance committee harry reid brought directly to the floor so that is one of their points of contention, but largely opposed the bill and opposed online sales taxes. >> back to the big retailers, big box stores, the best buys, places like that, and online retailers, amazon, ebay, all in lock step in support of the
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bill? >> i wouldn't say "lock step" seeing it though as a lifeline. they hear of showrooming. bookstores, for example, electronic good stores have done poorly over the last decade. we see major national chains consolidate or fold completely because consumers are not stupid. they realize that goods are cheaper online. part of that is because the sales tax. there are other reasons, but largely there's a trend of consumers sort of looking at goods in the store, maybe it is damaging to many who rely on them for services. there is merit to the argument. >> what are key amendments? >> we have seen a few budget amendments, not certain which amendments will be allowed. it's a little bit early to say i
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do know that we're going to see the senators who opposed the bill attempt to either filibuster or put up some sort of mold, a revenue amendment could derail debate. it's a bit complex why, but it would potentially force the bill to be discharged, so there are various procedures to attempt. how they structure debate is crucial. >> well, going forward from here, what are the prospects in the senate? is there a companion bill in the house, and has the white house weighed in yet? >> the prospects of the senate look good. we saw cloture received. only 20 votes against it, 70-plus in favors so cloture passed easily. there was a nonbinding vote, along similar lines a resolution passed similarly with three quarters of the chamber's support. they expect to get through the senate. a safe bet it does so probably this week if the opposition doesn't successfully stifle it. the hoys is another matter.
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house leadership is resistant to anything perceived as a tax increase. the heritage foundation said this is a tax increase and oversteps federal bunds. there are prominent conservative groups and what they say matters to weigh in against the bill. there are concerns, however, the retail industry has clout. there's opposing this to senatorring it, and that made a dent in the i think it is fair to say this is something that will likely take police station, if not this year, then next year. the house negotiations are ongoing, sponsors have said they are negotiating with house jew dish ri to address concerns. nothing has come out of that yet, but we will see what happens. >> technology reporter for cq roll call with update on the sales tax bill. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me.
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>> now, another matter, this week, the senate is debating a bill that would authorize states to require retailers to collect taxes on remote sales. i recognize that there are a range of views on this bill, and these views don't break along partisan linings, nor follow on ideological lines. speaking for myself, however, i oppose the bill, and here's why.
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for me, the issue boils down to the fact that the legislation considering would create an enormous compliance burden for a lot of small businesses out there making them tax collectors for thousands of far away jurisdictions. just as importantly, this legislation would increase the tax burden on kentuckians. as i said before, i don't think the people of kentucky sent me hear to help them pay higher taxes. brick and mortar companies complain about inequity that exists in currently where customers pay taxes that on line shoppers do not. frappingly, that's a legitimate concern. by imposing this new tax, states are empowered to force online retailers to comply with all the different tax codes of all the states in which their customers reside, and that is no small feat. from what i'm told, there's
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nearly 10,000 state, local, and municipal tax codes nationwide, and while complying with so many codes might not be a big deal for large online retailers, it's actually a huge burden for the little guys. small business owners are worried and justifiably so. i know they are in kentucky because so many keep writing to share their concerns with me. one small business owner lamented that, quote, small online business owners had been silenced and pushed to the side in this debate as larger companies press for the changings to take effect as quickly as possible. simple mather of the fact he said, any business with fewer than a hundred employees would be overwhelmed by keeping, replying, updates and reporting every tax zone in the united states. pretty hard to argue with that. moreover, this is a bill that, again, happens all too often in
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the senate and the senate not run through committee, not properly vetted or had the kings worked out of it. it's not like there's not other things that can be done to improve tax compliance from online shoppers. things that don't require us to turn private businesses into tax collectors for remote state governments. most states already impose a tax r fringe, requiring taxpayers to report how much they purchased on the internet. individual states that are concerned about this issue could choose to enforce their own existing used taxes rather than expect the federal government to impose sweeping legislation to empower states to reach across borders to collect taxes. let's not forget the fact that the internet has been such an enormous source of innovation and convenience for the constituents, country, and our economy, even in the tough economic times. that's because the government kept its nose out to allow innovation to flourish. i won't be supporting this bill.
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if states decide they need the revenue, keep in mind the tremendous burden placing on the little guys to drive the economy. in my view, the federal government should be looking for ways to help, not hurt, these folks. let's be honest, the big guys take care of themselveses. let's not make it harder for the smaller competitors. i yield the floor. >> i rise, yesterday, i came to the floor to oppose a cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the so-called main street fairness act. i, of course, like to -- i think properly name the interpret tax collection act because that's
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what it is. i strongly oppose this bill which has very serious flaws to it and very serious ramifications for not only businesses in my state, online businesses, where we have seen great growth, but also business online businesses across this nation, and i strongly disagree with the decision of fast tracking this bill, to stipthe regular markup process of the finance committee, that both the chairman of the finance committee, ?arts baucus, and the ranking republican on the finance committee, senator hatch, had opposed going to the bill without the committee doing its work. why? there's a number of concerns that have been raised by the bill by members on both sides of the aisle at a minimum we believe concerns warrant a thorough vetting through the regular order. that's why i, along with senators wyden, chester, shahhen rubio, and cruz asked, again,
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for regular order in the bill. here we are, closeture was invoked, and i expect the supporters of this bill certainly don't want to go through the markup process, so here we are again without regular order. this bill is wrong for a great area of growth for our country, which is online businesses and small businesses are hurt the worst under the bill. business owners, small and large from my state of new hampshire, who did business online, said this legislation would make it harter for them to do business, and during the recent senate work period, i held two round table discussions in new hampshirement one in manchester r and another in ports mith to hear what the implications of the bill will be to business owners in my state, and i want to share a sampling of the
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feedback from businesses in new hampshire about this bill. the president and ceo of garnet hill in new hampshire, it's going to be an administrative nightmare. other feedback we've gotten. he said to my office, an example of what he has to do. understand what this will make online businesses do in the country. they now become the tax collectors for other states, even though they don't rely on this services in those states, that don't use the roads in those states, don't get to vote for the representatives in those states. taxation without representation, that's what this bill is about, and they now have to collect for the rest of the nation, almost 9600 tax jurisdictions of different, not only state sales
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taxes, but local and county sales taxes. one example of what this is like and what app add -- an administrative nightmare it is for businesses. this is one page on a 40-page document of tax manuals. this is what one of our business or any online business faces here we are, if he has to collect..
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and yes that burden is put object business. talk about an administrative you know why? states are in a position where they want to use this as a cash grab to make other states online do their work of tax collecting for them instead of doing for themselves. i can't believe my colleagues are going to go along with this. i think t especially odd that there are other republicans who want to create this kind of
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complicated tax map. and you know, i hear from my colleague on this side of the aisle all the time about how we doubt through regulation and make it easier for businesses and, you know, a lot of my colleagues on the republican edge are pushing the notion that a business, let them purchase software and then, you know, let them try to collect for almost 96 tax juries daycareses. and what can go wrong for an online business? many of them who are smaller businesses in in country trying to thrive, trying to grow during a difficult economy. i also heard from enr lawn green cleaners, a small business founded in 1990, about 70% of the sales is internet-based. and the company's president said he wouldn't have the resources to calculate, collect, and deliver sales taxes for thousands of jurisdictions
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across the country. a bakery in my hometown of nashua echoes that. anybody who has been to frederick's pasty. yum. as i understand why they want to get the past fries. it would create mass confusion keeping up with the individual state tax codes. i've heard the same from one of the state's most promise innocent maple sugar producers in new hampshire the state that prides itself on the maple sugar product, peter thompson, the father was a former governor, a wonderful figure in the history. he said the legislation would be a burden we couldn't afford. kent smith, the owner of a new hampshire business said i don't have the manpower to do this.
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if i have to become a tax collector we know how hard it is to start your own business, by the way. she said i would be out of business. i've also heard wide spread concern about the threat from far away audit the legislation would bring. so that poster board i just had up there with the tax rates, in every single one of the ors jury -- jurisdiction if you divide by county or state, when a business in another state in new hampshire, for example, they're selling to a customer in illinois, their computer program that everyone is saying easy doesn't calculate it right. they can be hauled in for an awe audit in another state where they don't have any physical presence. what do they do? they have to get lawyer in another state, they have to deal in courtroom in another state or
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auditor with the department of revenue. who do they deal with? talk about administrative nightmare to be dragged to other states for potential audit or have to hire lawyers in other state. when an administrative mess this bill will create and, you know, it's shocking to think that people want to pay it's somehow is going level the playing field or make it fairer when it puts the great burden on businesses. travis based based based in nash it would crush us. ben baker, an online retailer said small businesses like mine can't handle that accounting burden. if i have to hire a book keeper, and pay my accountant more per month to track this. you bet my plans to expand the business is a lot less likely in the next six months. an online retailer said perhaps
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summed it up best when he said the last thing we need is legislation like this. i would like to mention a comment from joe malloy. a great business owner in new hampshire. president of polaris direct he said it's not about making main stream more competitive. it's about passing new taxes to at consumers. that's consistent with other business owners told me across new hampshire and essential i've heard it from businesses across the nation. they know it's not competitiveness. it's about helping states get more money to spend on programs they can't afford. that's what the "the wall street journal" said this week. the paper called the marketplace fairness act an online revenue raid they said this is a bill -- of course. you know is pushing the bill? big business. big retail business?
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you know what it does according to the "the wall street journal," and i fully agree. big business and big government are uniting to pursue their mutual interest in sticking it to the little guy. big business and big governments are suing their mutual interest to stick it to the little guy. haven't we enough of that in our nation? the paper concluded that the new revenues will merely fund larger government. so some of my colleagues have tried to justify their support for the big government bill on the notion that their states will be able to reduce their income or sales tax. i think we all understand there's no requirement in the bill that states have to reduce some other tax burden if they have to collect tax this way. it's about spending more money. let's talk about the constitution here by imposing collection requirements on business that have no physical
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presence outside their home state. i also fear that this is going really trample l on existing state sovereignty. under current supreme court precedent in the absence of an actual sufficient an ex sis state cannot reach beyond the borders to collect taxes on particular transaction. that's the decision. by you changing the standard it would undermine an important limitation. now the is a click. a click on the mouse makes row have to collect for somebody else. you have to be checked on instead of physical presence in a state. it if an online business in new hampshire has to collect and remit sales taxes for online customers for massachusetts, what is to prevent congress from later expending the commerce clause even further to require new hampshire brick and mortar
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businesses to collect the massachusetts tax? because montana -- massachusetts already tried to do this to help. when i was attorney general of the state, we brought a case to the massachusetts supreme court because there were customers from massachusetts that came to buy tires in new hampshire, and the mass dra tried to get new hampshire businesses to collect the tax. that's exactly what we're doing with this bill. it places an unfair burden on online businesses versus brick and mortar businesses that are in the situation who don't have to collect that. i worry that will be the next step for businesses in my state of new hampshire and other states across this nation that do not have a sales tax. and what about stores that sell through catalog? the customers are older, less likely to be will they have to start collect
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remit state sales taxes? what about other unintended consequences on consumers, retiree, investors. that's the type of information we talk about in the committee hearing that we didn't have on this bill before the finance committee. there was a hearing but there was no markup. and a markup is when you try to improve a deal with unintended consequences to a bill. could this bill open the door to taxes on financial service or transaction taxes? some of the financial organizations have raised that issue. in my home state of new hampshire it's a matter of pride we don't have a sales tax and this bill trample on that choice for the state of new hampshire. that's because we know that it gives our retailers, yes, an advantage in a competitive marketplace. we also know that low taxes as a result of low spending. but this legislation threatens to trample on retailers in all
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states forcing them to become tax collectors or other states. nearly 96 tax jurisdictions, as i mentioned. i said it before, it's truly taxation without representation. because businesses in new hampshire are online businesses in other states can now be subject to doing the business of governments and other states if collecting their taxes where they don't elect the representatives there where they don't rely on the roads there or the services there. and hear we have it the ultimate taxation without representation. i would say to my conservative colleagues why would you want to support such authority given by the federal government? supporters of the amendment argue they great an exemption for small business of $1 million for small sellers. but this amount is not indexed to anything.
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what about the business that is a million and one in sales? then they have to do it. it's doing discourages businesses from growing and also this limit is far lower than the sba, the small business administration that defines a small business. even with the exemptions, trust me, once the exemption is in place, and the states don't get all the revenue they want. they'll be back. they will be back before this body to say we didn't get enough money so you need authorize us for further. get rid of the exemption. we have a right to collect from the businesses as well. have them collect from us as well. that's what it is. requiring them to collect for us. mr. president, there's a broad coalition of groups that are opposed to this far reaching legislation. let me taunt a few of them. number one americans for tax reforms.
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americans for tax reform said this legislation grants states new tax collection authorities without removing equivalent taxing authority elsewhere. therefore this legislation can only be viewed as a tax increase. a tax increase. the financial services round table has said this legislation has the potential for unintended consequences. it's important for congress to explore all possible outcome and cost of the proposal. especially the impact on consumers. a transaction tax on financial services products will hurt retail investors, retired americans, and small businesses. effectively making it more expensive for them to invest and plan for the long-term. and without hearing, these implications and others will not be properly addressed. the security industry has raised similar concerns. saying this could lead to a financial transaction tax which will hurt all of us.
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tech net opposing saying it imposing a new internet sales tax regime is a tremendously complex thash should be addressed to regular order starting in the senate finance committee and done through a thorough and deliberative manner which has not been done here. we should not rush a proposal that riddled with holes and most importantly, does not provide enough preace for small businesses -- protection for small businesses. the backbone of our economy. americans for prosperity opposes this. americans for prosperity said the bill will not level the playing field. it would -- online retailers in a way that brick and mortar stores are not. complying with the internet sales tax would be a considerable administrative murder burden for small businessings. heritage action for america opposes this. there are many national taxpayer unions opposing this. competitive enterprise opposes
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this. competitive enterprise -- the council for citizen against government. these are groups that are committed to low taxes, less government, and free enterprise. again, i would encourage any colleagues from both sides of the aisle especially any colleague on this side of the i'm to listen to the red flags the group and several of my ore colleagues have raised. mr. president,ly conclude by once again restating the serious concerns i have about this legislation. concerns about the impact on small business owners in my state, and in states across the nation. concerns about the impact on online businesses that have been such an area of growth for this country. and when have we put the tax collecting burden on businesses in this country that should be done by the states themselves? the concerns about the administrative application of this bill, i showed you the tax
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jurisdictions to put the burden on businesses is absolutely wrong. wrong for creating jobs in this country, and it is absolutely wrong to put such an administrative burden on people that are working so hard in starting their business and thriving and making sure they grow. i believe we are opening pandora's box with this bill. it this shouldn't be done in the manner it has been without regular order. we are talking about a massive reorganization on how sales tax are collected in this country. and what will be next? what will the states ask us for authority to tax next? i think that should be a very big question for our colleagues here. i strongly encourage my colleagues to put the brakes on the bill and think about the harm this legislation would do to small online retailers across america. and my consumers and online retailers in your state find out
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what is actually in the bill, and they don't understand why their senators would support an online sales tax bill, i know they'll raise many concerns to you when they have the administrative burden and the nightmare of trying to collect for 9600 tax jurisdictions in this nation. mr. president, i would urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. thank you, mr. president. the 2013 congressional directly is a handy guide to congress. with updated listing for the members of the house and senate including contact information, district map. and information about cabinet members, supreme court justices and the nation's governors. it's $12.95 plus shipping and handling. order online at c-span.org/shop. the museum is meant to help a visitor relive the first eight
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years of the 21st century. as alex plains the decision making process that i went through as president. and we hope the museum inconspiracy people to serve. want to serve their community or serve their country in some way. we didn't want to be a school. we wanted to be a do tank. and so i don't know if there's a lesson there. i do know that it went in a different direction with the, you know, component of programs which they merge. >> watch the dedication ceremony from southern methodist university in dallas. live thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, c-span radio and c-span.org. tune in earlier for a conversation with the former first couple.
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>> i went in, i walked in to the kiosk and i said i'm here to report. the guard came up and said i knew one of your campaign managers in ohio. i said, okay, got down in there. and the guard said, here, you have hate mail from california. i remember in massachusetts you have hate mail waiting on you. they gave me the mail. you go through the most embarrassing part of the stripdown then i got to the intake. walked in to prison, down in to the courtyard, the warden -- i won't use the language i use in the book. the warden told me to get away from him. he can find his own way. i'm sitting there not to know where i'm going. they call them knew by clothes like they call them. and another prisoner said where is the escort that is supposed to take you around. some little guy in the suit yelled foul language.
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he took me in the back, way out the laundry room. i walk in and the man sitting there and said, are you the congressman? i said used to be. you're a republican, aren't you? i said, well, republicans put me in here, you know. i have to pull up the humor. i said i was the mayor of east cleveland. welcome. >> more with "side sweeps author." sunday at 8:00 on q & a. senator heidi of north dakota gave the first speech on the senate floor tuesday. she discussed issues important to the state including energy and farming. her remarks are fifteen minutes. i want thank my colleagues who came here today to watch me perform my first offer my first speech on the floor of the united senate.
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it's a great group and bipartisan group. i think that our new class is exactly that. group group of people that are bipartisan and willing to solve america's problems. i'm proud to be part of the freshman class in the united states senate. people here think they know each other. that's true. sometimes it's a good reminder to tell people about where you come from. and i want to just spend a little bit of time talking about where i come from and because i think it speaks a lot to what i believe and how i -- who i am. i grew up in a small town in north dakota. you all might think that means 90,000 people. no, it's ninety people. my family was one tenth of the population of that small town. when i was born, my mother had four kid, and the oldest was two
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and there were no twins. by the time my parents were done having children, there were seven children in nine years. my dad was a seasonal construction worker, and my mom was a school cook and a janitor. think about that. seasonal construction worker and school cook and janitor. and you know, it's interesting because my mom was someone who never let anyone be bullied. the worst thing you could do, in my mother's eyes was pick on someone who couldn't defend themselves. we knew that's what our role would be in our entire life. that's a value we carry with us. me and my six siblings. from my dad we learned about community and building community. my dad built the smallest vfw chapter in the country. came back from world war ii and knew they needed a place to gather to provide support for the veterans and each other. it needed to be in his community. he built the ballpark.
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he built, you know, the fire hall. made sure the chief of the volunteer fire department for years and years, and headed the vfw. someone who believed in community and believed that when mrs. poster need her sidewalk shovel so she could go church, that was or job. it wasn't somebody else's job. you picked up the shovel and you went down. and so i think what you learn from the place you grew up. in north dakota like communities across it country people gathering at coffee tables usually, you know, 7:00 or maybe 10:30 in the morning, maybe a little bit in the afternoon. and they talk about the problems of america. they talk about the problems of their communities. and there is all ideology at that table. there is democrats and republicans as we say lutheran and catholic. there's green bay fans and
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vikings fans, which can almost be the most devissive pressure they gather together and solve the problems of listen if we would only listen here in washington, d.c. more importantly, even though they have horrible fights, they get together and solve problems in their community. they figure out how to put out the christmas lights on main street. they figure out how to fix the roof on the church, how to get a school bond passed so they can expand classrooms. all across america, people work together. and that's the spirit, that's what i learned growing up in a small town in north dakota. that we can accomplish things if we keep our eye on the goals. if we understand and appreciate we all come from different places. than we all need to work together and that times we are not going agree, but we need to move forward. we need to work together to move this country forward.
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and so i want to take a moment and hopefully i won't get too emotional. i want to just to think about this. that we live in a country, an amazing country, where the daughter of a school cook and janitor and seasonal construction worker can substantial doubt on -- spanned on the floor of the united states senate. it's an amazing country. we can never forget that value. but i never thought i would be here. what do i mean by that? i never thought i would come to the united states senate. you know why? because senator conrad and i had senator door dis, and these are two giants who came to this body spoke their mind, represented their state, and i knew they would always represent me. always. and then something happened. they got tired, frustrated and moved on with their life. and they asked me to join this
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fight. the fight for north dakota and our values. they asked me to step to their shoes and i'm extraordinarily proud to be here. extraordinarily proud to represent agricultural, what do i mean by that? we have got frustration in farm country. sixteen million jobs in agricultural. it's the bright spot on our economy. it's adding to reduce the trade deficit, it's everything in my state. it is everything in my state. and you know what? we center small farmers, small family farmers who are -- who have to spend a million dollars before they can even take a crop out of the ground. that's an average farmer in my state. that's how much it costs to engage farming. and when we don't have a farm bill that provides some certainty, some security for them, we not only hurt them to and hurt american agricultural. we risk our secure food supply. i came here to speak for ntd farmers.
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-- north dakota farmers. i came here to speak for an energy policy. it's an amazing place here. you hear everybody say we believe in all of the above. and in north dakota we do all of the above. we not only are rich in natural gas and oil and kole. we have geothermal. we are one of the leading producers in the country on wind energy. we get it. policies in this body and city need to be established that provide certainty to our energy producers. i'm here to address the concerns that we may not have if we don't have policies that address issues of redundancy and reliability and energy, we will fall further and further behind. these are new technologies, there are great innovations coming down the pipe. we need address those. we need to move forward. i came here to talk about reasonable fiscal solutions. we just heard a debate of a good
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debate about the effect of the sequestration. we know we have challenges on both sides of the aisle there's a sents of purpose to change the trajectory of this. we are spending -- we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. we have a national debt that is almost equal to our gross domestic product. we have interest payments that are the third highest payment that we make here. that's at the time of record low interest rates. this is unsustainable. and it needs to be addressed but needs to be addressed -- ting needs to be addressed responsibly. and so like many of you, i have my own personal passions. and they involve senior citizens making sure that we provide them with a secure future. also a secure future for future senior citizens. veterans, care deeply about the condition of veterans benefits
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and what we're going do reward and thank -- truly thank the 1% of this country who steps up to serve us. i have a great concern for people living in indian countries. what are we going do to make sure they enjoy a future in our state? you take every problem of america and multiply it times three. that's the problem. need to be addressed. i care about head start. i believe a head start investment is a smart investment. you might wonder with the concerns and the issues why i'm standing today to talk about marketplace fairness. women, your going hear a lot about a case quill v. north dakota. what you don't know probably the whole caption is quill v. north dakota over twept years ago, i heard the despair of main street businesses. i had a woman who came to me,
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she ran a little wall paper shop in her town. and she -- at the time i don't know if it's true today. you had to buy the wall paper books from the companies. it was an investment in presenting this product. and people would come her and they would open up the book and she would help them do a little entire your design. she worked through the fabrics and worked through all of this then they walked out and she never saw them again. she knew and i did they went home and looked in the catalog and took the lot number and ordered it on the internet. maybe, maybe they ordered it more cheaply than the sales tax. we wanted to know from me when i was tax commissioner how i could justify a 5% disadvantage that she was having. she wanted to know what i could do to level the playing field so she at least had a chance. she at least could compete. well, i listened and it wasn't
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just that woman who ran the wall paper business, it was the furniture store, it was main street stores. we initiated a lot. for those who think it's unduly burden small business, i want you to think about this. in my state why we sued quill they were the third highest retailer of office products. in my entire state. third highest. it's premarkble. they were enjoying this advantage of not having to collect sales tax. we took the case to the supreme court. some would say it didn't turn out well for you. i'll tell you some basic information about the case. at the time, there was a sense that there was not due process jurisdiction. if you didn't have contact in the state. now we all know a lot of us are lawyers in this body that the longer the statute that at the time is done, the question was
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what would be the contact? could we in tax jurisdiction and in sales tax collection get the the court agree that due process was not disturbed by an extension of regulation and responsibility to the sales at this time catalog sell piers. the court agreed with the piece. when they were challenged with the argument that did north dakota's imposition effect interstate commerce in belongs in the united states senate, in the house of representatives, and belongs to congress. congress has the obligation of regulating interstate commerce. so here we're. here we almost twenty years
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later. over twenty years later. since the court case was decided. still the issue. the issue has grown tremendously because of the explosion of internet sales. remote sellers are getting bigger and the mainstream businesses don't suffer. continue to struggle. you're going hear a lot today about how this bill discriminates. you're going hear a lot about how it's not fair. you're going to hear about how it affects small business. and every time you hear that argument, i want you to -- member of the body, to think just for a moment that you are that one woman with the wall paper store. or you're the small drugstore trying to sell candled to supplement the prescription drug business you have. you're the small business and what you see is you see that you have burdens of collecting this sales tax and you're building your community.
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you're bulletin, take all the ad in your ?iewp to help the school newspaper. maybe you put an ad on the score board at the high school. maybe when they come around and ask for money on the fire department you chip in. and you're building community. and you're there and employing people there and wondering why this government can authorize and approve discrimination against. why you have to fight so hard. and you're going hear a lot today about small businesses that operate on the margin. right. retail a small margin. exactly. that's exactly the point because that small margin is just as small for the main street business. they have a 5% disadvantage. and so today and tomorrow we're going hear a lot about the bill. i know, feelings are running fairly high for people whoa oppose it. when you hear discrimination and youer that this is not the role of this body to take this on,
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understand this it's exactly the role of this body. and exactly the obligation we have to level the playing field, make things fair, to respond to the needs of our community. and that's >> we're fighting so hard and working so hard on this bill. i think we're going get it done. andlet just think for a moment. we have taken a couple of votes they have been pretty good lopsided votes. if we fail in moving this bill after it has such try support, how do we do the stuff stuff stuff? how do we do the deficit reconstruction. how do we do the tough stuff. let level the playing field, let's make this responsive to the main stream businesses every day. struggle and simply asking for justice. they're simply asking for equity. i yield the floor.
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joining us from capitol hill. what is the purpose of this senate internet sales tax bill? >> the legislation state require that online retailers charge sales tax when consumers make a purchase online. that includes retailers not within their own state. >> who are some of the supporters? why did some say it will level the -- playing field for retailers? >> the big which include retail industry. it's the big restalers -- retailers, walmart, amazon.com, which is an online retailer. they said brick and mortar are at the disadvantage. they have to charge the sales tax with the online retailers don't. consumers are technically are supposed to pay the taxes on the tax return, but studies show that most don't. so in effect online goods get that 6 to 10% on average
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discount. >> what about the opponents of the bill particularly in the senate. who are we going hear from? what are their arguments against the bill. >> the strongest opposition is coming from states where they don't charge sales tax. they contend that the retailers would have to -- they would be a burden on them to calculate the sales tax for the various locality and especially when state don't sales a tax. oregon, new mment, new hampshire. they are trying to going try some procedural attempts to derail the debate. they're doing everything they can to set the bill back. they say it wasn't brought through the right. brought it directly to the floor. that's one of the point of contention. they oppose the bill and
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collection of online sales tax. >> let's go to the big box stores. the best buys, places like that. an online retailers. are they in lock step in support of the bill? >> i wouldn't say lock step. the retail industry as whole. they support the bill. electronic bookstorings have done poorly over the last decade. they have seen major national change. consolidate or fold completely. consumers are are now stupid. they realize goods are cheaper online. part is the sales tax. there are other reasons. we have seen the trend of consumers sort of looking at goods in a store. maybe window shopping and going online and buying the goods. it is damaging to both stores and the states and localities that collect sales tax and rely on them to provide services.
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>> what are some of the key amendment coming up you're looking out for? attempt to filibuster or put up a revenue -- it would potentially force the bill to get dangered. there are various procedures they can attempt. how soon they restructure the debate is crucial. what is the prospect on the senate. >> the prospect in the senate look good. we saw cloture received -- there are twenty votes against it. 70s plus cloture. we saw a nonbinding -- a long similar line on the senate budget resolution passed similarly with three quarter of
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the chamber support. so supporters expect it to get through the senate. i think it's a safe bet it will do so probably this week if the opposition doesn't successfully sometimey it. house leadership is resistant to anything that proceed with tax increase. the heritage foundation staid oversteps federal bound prominent conservative group, what they say matter. we have seen other also way in against the bill. the house has concerns. however the retail industry has lot of clout. we see amazon.com when they switch from opposing it to supporting it it made a huge dent in the opposition and i think it's fair to say this is something that will likely take place if not this year the next year. so the house negotiations are ongoing. sponsors lo mack said he -- bob good lot to address currents. nothing has come out of it yet.
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we will see what happens. >> technology reporter for "cq" role call. thank you for joining us. >> thank you verying having me. the museum is meant to help a visitor relive the first eight years of the cityst century. the museum explains the decision making process that i went through as president, and we hope that the museum inspires people to serve. want to serve their community or country. we really didn't want to be a school. we wanted to be a do tank. and so i don't know if there's a lesson there. i do know that laura and i said set in a different direction with the, you know, from which programs emerge. watch the dedication ceremony of the george w. bush
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presidential library and museum in dallas. live thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3w, c-span radio, and c-span.org. and known for a conversation with the former first couple. one of the problems when the judges are appointing the public defenders the job is to reliant on their approval and judges are judged on their efficiency. how fast do they process cases? how quickly do they get through the docket? so they're going want a public defender that goes gets the law. that does the bidding. that's a real challenge. and in nawrn for a long time the system was also that one public derchesd assigned to one courtroom and the same judge. they were always arguing before the same judge.
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